May 31, 2011  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca

Casablanca. 1942. USA. Directed by Michael Curtiz

Casablanca. 1942. USA. Directed by Michael Curtiz

These notes accompany the screenings of Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca on June 1, 2, and 3 in Theater 1.

In a recent Internet posting, the Writers Guild of America chose Casablanca as the greatest screenplay of all time. The list of 101 titles included only two foreign films—Renoir’s Grand Illusion and Fellini’s 8 1/2—worth including. I don’t know how people find time for such insipid silliness, but they do. Read more

May 27, 2011  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: A Walk Through the Sculpture Garden

Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season, and fiiiiiinally the weather around here seems to be cooperating. It also marks the resurgence of my recurring fantasy of uprooting my cube (yes, we work in white cubes, too) and dragging it out to The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, where I’d be happy to work among the gurgling fountains, rustling trees, and beautiful sculptures. I’d be productive, I swear! [Boss reads blog post, rolls eyes.] Read more

May 26, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Talking to Tony Conrad

Tony Conrad. In Line. 1986. Video, color, sound, 7 min. © 2011 Tony Conrad

One of the major aims of Looking at Music: 3.0 is to examine the impact of technological innovation on music and art during the 1980s and 1990s. The advent of the music video, the proliferation of TV, and the development of cheap, immediate, color video recording equipment were significant events of this era that had a huge impact on the media artists used as well as the content they investigated. Read more

May 25, 2011  |  Film, Videos
Euzhan Palcy Has Them Dancing in the Aisles

French-Caribbean filmmaker Euzhan Palcy (b. Martinique, 1958) creates politically engaged work exploring themes of race, gender, and social justice from a decidedly feminist perspective. She has written, produced, and directed over 15 fiction features and documentaries since 1983, when her first film, Rue Cases-Nègres (Sugar Cane Alley) won a Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. The director came to The Museum of Modern Art for the opening of her first U.S. career retrospective, Filmmaker in Focus: Euzhan Palcy, (in the MoMA theaters through May 30) and spoke with us about her earliest recollections of filmgoing; her experience as a black woman in the film business; her breakthrough debut; and such signature films as A Dry White Season Read more

May 25, 2011  |  I Went to MoMA and
“I Went to MoMA and…”: You Say It’s Your Birthday!


May 25 is a big day! On this day in 1935, Jesse Owens broke three track and field records; in 1977, Star Wars was released; plus it’s National Tap Dance Day—happy birthday Bill “Bojangles” Robinson! And for a few (or a lot) of our visitors of all ages, May 25 is your birthday and you’re spending it here. From the celebratory “I went to MoMA and…” responses we pulled from the pile this week, we know you’re out there—turning 9, 21, 30, 50, 65, 80, and everything in between. Read more

May 24, 2011  |  Artists, Events & Programs, MoMA PS1
Teens “Get” Ryan Trecartin

Ryan Trecartin. Roamie View: History Enhancement (Re'Search Wait'S). 2009–10. HD Video, 28:23 min. Image courtesy the artist and Elizabeth Dee, New York

I had the opportunity to meet with a group of teens in MoMA’s Museum Studies program to discuss what the Department of Communications does for the Museum. Besides writing press releases and pitching stories to the media, among many other things, we think creatively to get the word out about MoMA and MoMA PS1 exhibitions. Read more

May 24, 2011  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Preston Sturges’s The Lady Eve

The Lady Eve. 1941. USA. Written and directed by Preston Sturges

The Lady Eve. 1941. USA. Written and directed by Preston Sturges

These notes accompany the screenings of Preston Sturges’s The Lady Eve on May 25, 26, and 27 in Theater 3.

Preston Sturges (1898–1959) was in that fraternity of Hollywood scriptwriters (along with Billy wilder, John Huston, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Blake Edwards, and Elaine May, to name just a few) who ultimately weren’t content to let someone else direct their scripts. Sturges’s own transition took a long time; he wrote part or all of 17 films between 1930 and his directorial debut a decade later. Read more

May 23, 2011  |  Events & Programs
Exotic Novela: MoMA’s Community Partnership with Project Luz

Fernand Dcute and Daniel as Joan Collins. Photo by Sol Aramendi

For the past few months, Rebecca Goyette, one of three educators running the Museum’s Community Partnership Programs, has been working with the photographers at Project Luz to combine their own practice as artists with images and themes from MoMA’s collection. Read more

May 20, 2011  |  Film, Videos
Gabriel Byrne on The Quiet Man and Ireland on Film

Renowned Irish actor Gabriel Byrne joined us to discuss Revisiting The Quiet Man: Ireland on Film, an exhibition he curated with the Irish Film Institute and MoMA. Using John Ford’s iconic 1952 film The Quiet Man as a point of departure, the exhibition examines cinematic depictions of the Irish—in both American and Irish films—from 1910 to the present day. Read more

May 19, 2011  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Design
The Freitag Top Cat Bag: Environmentally Responsible and Good-Looking, Too

Markus Freitag and Daniel Freitag. Top Cat Bag (model F13). 1993. Used truck tarpaulins, seatbelts, and innertubes). Manufactured by Freitag, Zurich, Switzerland. The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Lars Müller

As the Architecture and Design Objects Preparator, it’s not unusual for me to catch people in the galleries pointing at an object I’ve installed, saying something like, “I have one of those.” I suspect you’re not likely to hear this very often in the Painting and Sculpture Galleries, but it happens all the time on the third floor. Read more